Charles Powis

Charles Powis was born 1 Sept 1816, in Southwark, London, to tailor Robert and Elizabeth Powis. The family immigrated to the Swan River colony aboard the Rockingham, in 1830. Charles grew up in his father’s trade but later branched out into painting, sculpture, plastering and paper-hanging. In 1860, he also advertised Photograph Miniatures on Ivory, Chromotypes…

George Braithwaite Phillips

George Braithwaite Phillips was born on 5 March 1836 in Guildford, Western Australia to John Randall Phillips and Martha Jane Smith. John had arrived in the Swan River colony on the Protector, on 25 February 1830, being one of the first settlers in the colony. Martha accompanied him as a 21-year-old servant, they later married in 1836….

Walter William Thwaites (Snr)

Walter William Thwaites was born in 1815 in London, to miniature portrait artist Walter William Thwaites and Charlotte Yeomans. He arrived in NSW in 1834 (ship unknown) and worked for the Auditor General’s Department in Sydney for a number of years. In 1839, he married Jane McLean in Sydney and had three children. The family…

George Henry Lovewell (Lovewell, Wing/Sivyer & Co)

George Henry Lovewell was born in 1855, in Dubuque, Iowa, to Samuel Joseph Lovewell and Adeline Foster. Samuel was a photographer and was known to have photographed a number of Civil War scenes. After learning the trade from his father, George moved to California and opened a tin-type studio in Stockton, California, before migrating to…

Maximilian William Greenfeld

Max was born c.1842 in Berlin Germany and made his way to Australia aboard the ship, Alfred, arriving in Melbourne on 15 November 1862. He moved to NSW and in 1869 married Hannah Singleton by special licence at Patrick’s Plains. They had four children, their first born in 1871, so not sure what the special licence…

Edwin Truscott Gill

Born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1846 to Edwin Jackson Gill and Elizabeth Truscott, Edwin, grew up to be a general house carpenter and cabinetmaker. Later advertisements mention his attachment to the Fine Arts Department of the London Framing Company, where he restored oil paintings and their frames. No doubt a trade learnt from his Gilder father….

Johann von Petz

Johann von Petz was a European photographer who operated in the second half of the 19th Century.

Iver Christian Biltoft (Biltoft & Dick, Biltoft & Co)

Iver Christian BILTOFT was born on 20 Jun 1862 in Lydum, Denmark, the son of Peter Vedsted Biltoft and Kristine Marie Jensine Jensdatter. He came to Australia with his parents as part of an Assisted Immigration scheme at just 10 years old in 1873, first settling in Rockhampton, Queensland where he became a photographer from…

Nathaniel Mews Armstrong

Nathaniel was the youngest son of 14 children, born in 1855 to Francis Fraser Armstrong and Mary Ann Mews (from the well-known boat building family in Fremantle.)  His father was a collector for the Perth city council and local interpreter for the indigenous population. Nathaniel was named after one of his Scottish ancestors, Nathaniel Gow,…

Greenham & Evans (Charles & Laura)

Charles George Greenham was born around 1853, in Jersey, England. He arrived in Melbourne with his parents and 3 siblings aboard the Boanerges in 1862. In 1873 he married Kate Murray, they had 5 children. She died in 1883 after the birth of their fifth child. A second marriage for Charles George Greenham is registered on 25…

Tuttle & Co (William True Bennett)

William True Bennett was born in 1836 in Michigan, USA.  He made his way to Australia around 1857, setting up a studio in Brisbane, intending to stay for a few days, but ended up staying 20 months and marrying a local girl, Mary Teresa Greenwood, in December 1858. More information on his life in Queensland…

Hemus & Hall (James William Hemus)

James William Hemus (born 1860, Warwickshire, England) operated at the ‘San Francisco Palace of Art’ in George Street, Sydney around 1884-85 with fellow photographer, William True Bennett. By 1885 he was working with another photographer, Godfrey, before heading down to Melbourne where he was contacted by Bennett in November 1890, offering him a position in…